Canmore, AB, Canada
Located approximately 30 minutes east of Banff in the small mountain community of Canmore, Alberta, this 3,300 sq. ft. residence occupies two narrow forested lots overlooking the Bow River Valley, with immediate views to several peaks in the Canadian Rocky Mountain range.
The clients, avid mountain climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, were interested in a home that maximizes the connection with the landscape but maintains as much of the existing topography and native vegetation as possible. This led to developing a new home on one of the lots and retaining the other as a buffer from the neighboring homes. From the street, the property appears to be relatively flat with a dense thicket of pine and aspen trees screening a small clearing beyond. It quickly transitions to a steep, rocky slope with extraordinary mountain and valley views visible from the top of the bluff. A public hiking trail borders the southern edge of the site and connects to a broader park landscape.
Due to the varied topography within a small area, the elements of the house were separated into two volumes that terrace up the hillside. The sequence of circulating between the public and private areas of the house is carefully choreographed to allow both expansive and intimate views of the site, as well as oblique views of the two buildings. A garage and carport are located behind the veil of trees in the lower clearing, with a guest suite and private study immediately above. An enclosed bridge spans from the guest suite towards the linear main living pavilion and master suite, which float on delicate steel piers above the upper bench of the site. The wood-lined living pavilion is oriented to take advantage of the nearby mountain peaks as well as the more distant views of the Bow River Valley.
Exterior materials planned for the house include Shou sugi ban charred cedar siding, fiber-cement, and corten steel panels, exposed Douglas fir glulam beams, cross-laminated timber framing, aluminum windows and corrugated metal roofing. This rich palette of materials lends a tactile softness to the building that blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment.